The Canadian dollar is the official currency of Canada and one of the best performing world currencies over the last few years. Canada’s money is also fondly referred to as the Canadian loonie after the amphibious water bird endemic in the country. The loon became the iconic symbol of Canadian currency immortalized in Canadian coins for the first time when one-dollar coins with the loonie bird on one face were minted in 1987.
Financial analysts are in agreement on the promising outlook of the Canadian loonie for 2011—edging even the formidable currency of their continental neighbor the United States.
The close affinity of the Canadian monetary system and exchange market to their US counterparts stem from their shared history of the colonial trade era. The Spanish dollar was widely circulated in North America during the 18th and 19th centuries and when the Canadian dollar first became the official currency of the Province of Canada in 1858 the former British colony adopted the dollar system instead of the Pound sterling. Today the loonie or CAD come in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, $1, and $2 Canadian coins and $5, $10, $20, $50 banknotes.
The Royal Canadian Mint issues Canadian coins while the Bank of Canada issues Canadian paper currency. On one side of Canadian banknotes an inscription of the name of Queen Elizabeth II appears in Latin—serving as a reminder that Canada remains a member of the British commonwealth of nations. The official languages of Canada are English and French and this is reflected on the wording of the national currency.
The value of the Canadian dollar has been soaring since world commodity prices continue to peak and the US dollar struggles to maintain its dominance. Canada is a dynamic export economy driven by international trade of oil, natural gas, metals and lumber and its currency is propelled by the rising prices of commodities in the world market.
The global economic meltdown of late did not gravely ruffle the loonie’s feathers for Canada’s financial system remained stable in large part to the Canadian government implementing austere financial measures on their major banks and the nation’s coffers. By the end of 2010 the Canadian dollar’s exchange rate was $1.0042 against the US dollar. A continued rise of the Canadian currency is expected for 2011.